Friday, May 12, 2006

Cliff diving

“First of all, I want to say this is a very embarrassing situation for myself, especially under the circumstances that we've been going through. So I definitely want to apologize to my teammates and the organization for putting the added stress on the team.”

No, this wasn’t Cliff Robinson today.

It was Cliff Robinson in Feb. 2001, when he was a member of the Phoenix Suns. He was charged with driving under the influence and with having marijuana and a pipe in his Porsche.

Those charges were dropped. But Cliff was ordered into the NBA’s drug program, meaning he had to respond to periodic phone calls from the league. He served a five-game suspension in 2005 for not participating in one of these calls – which is not what you think of when you hear ‘violation of the league’s Anti-Drug program.’

When and if Cliff addresses this latest turn of events, he’ll likely say something similar to the above quote. Truth is, Cliff’s a good guy. But that won’t stop you, the media or the Nets from scratching their heads and asking two questions, both beginning with the word ‘Why’…

Why can’t you pick up a phone?

Or why can’t you put down whatever it is that resulted in this suspension?

You can’t apologize for him either way.

It’s a shame that the Nets’ season as come to this, especially when Robinson was such a major part of it. At 39 years old and eclipsing some NBA milestone almost on a daily basis, Robinson seemed to be putting all this garbage behind him.

Now the Nets are down to one guy who can effectively defend Shaquille O’Neal. This is a major blow to their chances in this series.

It’s still early here at the Meadowlands… Rod’s going to talk at 6:30. Robinson can appeal, but according to the league, he hasn’t yet.

Yes, Cliff was at shootaround today. No, he hasn’t responded to phone calls yet.

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